Fried Mac and Cheese Balls — Damn Delicious

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Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

A comfort classic that everyone will be fighting for! Crisp on the outside yet so soft, creamy and cheesy on the inside. YESSS!

After 3 days and 2 nights in Death Valley, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.

I won’t get into the details of the sand storm and the 18 degree cold we were sleeping in, BUT!

I will get into this.

Fried mac and cheese balls.

Great for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Or for Game Day.

Works great on either occasions.

That way you have a convenient excuse to make this more than once a year.

Fried Mac and Cheese Balls

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

A comfort classic that everyone will be fighting for! Crisp on the outside yet so soft, creamy and cheesy on the inside. YESSS!


  • 3 cups macaroni and cheese, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 cups vegetable oil, or more, as needed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Place macaroni and cheese into the refrigerator until firm, about 3-4 hours.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  3. Using a small cookie scoop, roll macaroni and cheese into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch balls, forming about 12.
  4. Working one at a time, dip balls into eggs, then dredge in Panko, pressing to coat.
  5. Working in batches, add balls to the Dutch oven and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.

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Ooh, they will love it! I agree that mac and cheese tastes weird the next day… and its not as creamy. And, to quote Lavoisier: “In nature nothing is created, nothing is lost, everything changes.” lol

These looks so good!!

Ooooohhhhh, that looks so good. How does the Mac and cheese stay in a ball though when you roll it? Even when I make it homemade and refrigerate it it falls apart…… But good recipe.

You can try to freeze the mac and cheese as well!

Do you have a good mac’n cheese recipe for this? They look amazing!

Btw, did u have a web designer develop your site or did you diy?

I used a web designer.

How do you discard the oil once its finished?

Allow the oil to cool first. Then you can discard in a small sealed container and throw it out with the trash. Please do not pour it down the drain as it can clog overtime.

These Mac and Cheese Balls look amazingly addicting.

These look amazing!!

These look incredible! I need them in my life!

These look great, amazing use for Mac and Cheese! Probably really unhealthy but who cares haha!

MUST HAVES. Omiloooord I need fried mac and cheese balls right this friggin second!

Wow. Mac and Cheese balls….
Delicious I love it. Thanks for this tasty recipe….

How do you discard the oil once its finished?

Allow the oil to cool first. Then you can discard in a small sealed container and throw it out with the trash. Please do not pour it down the drain as it can clog overtime.

We have these at the Fair every year! Can’t wait to make some at home, we love fried Mac and cheese.

What fun! You should have mentioned that you have to really squeeze to make
the balls and dip in egg quickly. We don’t have Panko here in the Ozarks so I used Dakota Style Kettle Shake crunchy potato chip all natural gluten free Jalapeno coating mix. Made 2 dozen. Couldn’t stop making them or eating them.

Yes we do, silly!

These look like they would put the Trader Joe’s mac and cheese balls to shame. Can’t wait to try them!

Do you season the panko in any way?

No, but you absolutely can with your desired seasonings!

These look so good!

These look delicious!!

I’m so sad. I tried this recipe today using Annie’s Organic mac & cheese. Since it was store bought mac & cheese, I thought it would work just fine. Even after I cooled the mac & cheese in the fridge for 4 hours, it wouldn’t stick together in order for me to bread them and fry them. I was really looking forward to eating these. 🙁

After having the same issue as you, I Was Able To Just Get Some Egg on it little crumb as squeeze the egg and bread crumb and Mac together to form a ball. I’m thinking that if the mac isn’t super cheesy it’s tough to get it in a ball. I was able to then swirl the mac balls in the egg and then back in the bread crumbs. I would bet that flour first would be better since this will keep the cheese from oozing out of the balls when cooking them.

I’m trying this right now, but I’m having a hard time keeping them formed into a ball.

You are killing me. These look incredible. OMG.

Screaming this recipe from the mountain tops. Everyone needs these in their lives!

Hint #1.. After you form into a ball, place on parchment paper and put in the freezer for about an hour. It makes it much easier to stay formed while you dip it in the egg wash.
Hint #2… Put gingerbread cookies in the blender to make Gingerbread crumbs and use in the place of panko for a sure fire hit with everyone!!

These look delicious!!

Dang they look tasty!! I have had arancini but never mac and cheese balls. Really want to try them (:

I was driving home last night thinking to myself how I could really go for some mac n cheese balls. What a surprise when your recipe is the first on the search list!!

Big thumbs up! It’s a really good one, quite really soft and crispy. As always keep up the amazing work!

I am DEFINITELY going to make these for my 6 year olds birthday party! Kids and adults will devour them!

What are your thoughts on me making them a few hours in advance, morning of, and warming them in the oven?

That’s a great idea!


Amazing fried mac cheese balls. They looked soooo good, I had to try and make them. I used your suggestion and used 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives.

I can’t get my Mac and cheese to form into balls. Ive had it in the refrigerator for over the allowed time and it falls apart…it won’t stick together therefore I can’t get any further in the process…please help

You can try to freeze them for 15-30 minutes.

I finally got to make this fried mac cheese balls this past weekend and it was such a hit!!

Thank you Bella! So happy to hear you liked them!

GARBAGE….sure, there are 100 comments saying they LOOK GOOD…but try making them!

First, you will never form the mac and cheese into a ball! Impossible!
Second, once you dip in egg, the moisture from egg will make mac and cheese fall apart.

SERIOUSLY Flawed recipe! DO NOT ATTEMPT, unless you enjoy throwing 2 eggs, panko crumbs and a bowl of cold mac and cheese in the garbage.

Waste of time and money.

Not sure I did this right but I was hoping to tell you how much we loved this recipe. We would like to be included in the drawing for you and Butters new cookbook give-a-way. Either way, if I did this wrong, we will continue to enjoy these tasty little devils.

Had leftover mac & cheese that we wanted to repurpose for a repeat dinner party. My mac & cheese had dried up a bit in the fridge, so I melted some fresh Velveeta and mixed it in (I also mixed in some bacon bits, because… why not?!). Returned to the fridge for about 4 hours. I used an ice-cream scoop to dole out the portions. I drizzled the beaten egg over the ball (instead of dipping) and then coated it by hand. Sprinkled the panko and pressed it by hand. The balls held together quite well. They were about 3 inches in diameter. I made a dozen and placed them on a cookie sheet in the fridge until ready to fry (fried them in vegetable oil @ 375F after frying some red snapper). They looked & tasted great. I excluded the chives because my original audience was supposed to be 5 & 6 year old kids, but the adults ended up eating most of them. Might include some ranch for dipping if I make them again.

Great! Thank you for your feedback.

Come join me in my culinary adventures where we’ll be using simple, fresh ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated and elegant meals for the everyday home cook.

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